Denver began as a mining town during the 1850s. The famed Mile High City has undergone massive change since and has quickly become one of the most popular cities.
In fact, over the last seven years, Denver has experienced rapid growth making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the US. Additionally, US News & World Report named Denver one of the best places to live in America in 2019, second only to Austin, TX.
Denver has a lot of traits that make it an appealing city in which to live, work, and play. So why is Denver so popular? Below are 11 reasons Denver has taken on the title of a “popular” city.
1. Denver has a strong, growing economy with many new jobs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Denver’s economy is the best it has been since 2017. The state is ranked seventh out of fifty in overall gross national product.
Denver’s job outlook continues to accelerate drawing more newcomers from various states. The U.S. Census called Denver “the fastest growing city in the country.”
Economic recovery is obvious. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a Denver area unemployment rate of 2.5%. That is well below the national unemployment rate of 4.1% national rate.
2. Denver has a diverse and exciting lifestyle
Denver is a city full of youthful, progressive, ambitious, fitness-oriented people. Additionally, many people stay active in current policies and issues, pushing for changes in everything from environmental policy and civil rights to drug laws.
Denver’s diversity is a welcoming trait for this metro area. For its size, Denver is a friendly city full of people eager to help their neighbors. Perhaps this is because there are twelve distinct neighborhoods, each with its own cultural flavor.
3. Denver is near the mountains
Denver is not really a mountain town. It takes at least an hour to drive to the Rockies. However, at a reputed elevation of 5,279 feet, the Mile High City sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains.
As a result, Denver is the gateway to mountain outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, climbing, and snowboarding. The vast wilderness is quite literally in your backyard, making it easy to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Many newcomers report the outdoor experience as one of the best reasons to move to Denver.
4. Denver has a varied climate
Mild summer weather from June through August and winter ski season from November to March are Denver’s peak tourist times. Most report, Denver has pristine weather any day of the year and named one of the sunniest places even throughout winter months. Its friendly climate is another reason Denver is so popular.
Listed as a semi-arid continental climate, Denver is partly dry but its weather is also affected by the nearby mountains that tend to change both its temperature and its degree of humidity.
Denver residents and visitors enjoy four distinct seasons. Each has its own special charm. Rain is most prevalent during spring and summer from April to August. Proximity to the Rockies makes Denver’s climate subject to quick, marked changes.
During July, the hottest month, temperatures average 88°F. Summer weather often has high temperatures reaching 90°F for at least half the summer days. There are also frequent, severe thunderstorms.
December, the coldest month, has temperatures averaging 46°F. Winters span November to March when the weather is cold and snows are frequent. However, there are also warmer, melting periods thanks to the warming Chinook winds.
Snowfall is expected during late fall (October-November) and early spring (March-April). Snow has even fallen in early September, although this is rare.
The Weather Channel noted that Denver is the tenth most likely American city to receive hail. The city received three of the country’s ten most costly hailstorms in 1990, 2009, 2014 and 2017. Denver also ranked eighteenth of the coldest American city in 2014.
5. Denver has a user-friendly transportation system
It’s easy—and inexpensive—to get around in Denver. The 16th Street Mall Ride shuttles locals and tourists through downtown. You can get on and off anywhere exploring the city, shopping, or going to work. And, it’s free!
RTD light rail connects the city with over a hundred miles of track to various neighborhoods. This sophisticated system includes buses and trains that get you anywhere you need or want to go. There is even expected expansion for the RTD system to connect Denver with the nearby popular town, Boulder, CO.
6. Denver receives high marks as a retirement spot
Lest you think Denver is a new location only for young people, the city was voted the thirty-seventh best location in America for retirees and number two in Colorado. Its retirees were number five of all Americans for satisfaction with where they live.
Why is this? Denver readily acknowledges that retirees are a vital part of the city’s economy. Seniors are welcomed in the community.
Denver has a high walkability score. This means seniors have many opportunities to remain active both outdoors and inside. There are many varied, cultural opportunities as well as interesting restaurants. Downtown is easy to get around with free convenient public transit.
Denver has a lovely down-home atmosphere. The city welcomes newcomers and tourists as part of the community immediately. Getting around is easy on a well-developed transit system. Drivers are courteous. Neighbors are friendly and helpful.
The feeling of having a supportive community and many other seniors around makes Denver a very popular city.
7. Denver offers a wide range of food and drinks choices
Beer! A simple reason why Denver is so popular right now. In a poll, this city ranked as the best city for beer drinkers. It is one of the top five cities in America for breweries and bars. Note new breweries like Zuni Street Brewing Co. and Woods Boss Brewing, as well as well-established places. MillerCoors Company is located just outside of Denver and houses the largest single-site brewery in the world! Brands like Miller and Coors are produced at this location. Further, visitors can tour the facility year-round.
When it comes to food, Denver has something to tempt even the most discerning palate. Specialty dishes available in Denver’s wide choice of restaurants include local favorites like Rocky Mountain oysters, Rocky Ford cantaloupe and local peaches, Colorado lamb, locally farmed bison, and green chili dishes.
Additionally, Denver boasts one of the prime places for quaint coffee shops. In fact, there are more than twenty independent local roasters and 128 coffee shops per capita, making it number fifteen in the nation.
8. Denver has many excellent recreational, arts, and sports options
Denver is home to several sports teams including the Major Baseball League Colorado Rockies, The National Hockey League Avalanche, the National Football League Denver Broncos and the National Basketball Association Nuggets.
Denver has arts and culture opportunities, as well. Check out the First Friday art walks in each of the twelve districts. Many vendors come out to display arts, crafts, small shop creations and much more. Red Rocks Amphitheater has also been voted one of the best music venues in the nation and with a little over 8,000 seats; it accommodates some of the largest concerts, as well.
9. Denver’s healthcare facilities are superior
The state of Colorado has excellent healthcare. This is especially appealing to its seniors and parents with young families who may need special care. Hospitals and clinics in Denver work with Blue Shield, UnitedHealth Care, and Anthem Blue Cross to provide first-class health care.
HMO researchers found that Denver is one of the healthiest American cities. Residents of all ages stay active and fit in a place that affords many opportunities for walking, biking, skiing, climbing, and snowboarding.
10. Real estate is booming in Denver
Denver is one of the USA’s fastest-growing cities—particularly for youth who are actively seeking neighborhoods for young professionals. This is another reason why Denver is so popular. The city’s distinctly different neighborhoods offer something for everyone. Housing options include everything from skyscraper living and suburban developments to nineteenth-century homes. Most neighborhoods boast lovely parks and other focal points. Some are trendy while others are historic. There are areas of the city undergoing construction and other areas that are being repurposed.
11. Denver is a safe place to live and visit
Denver is one of the most diverse and exciting cities to visit or live in. While it’s a hugely populated metro city, it is still pretty safe. Compared to American cities its size, Denver’s crime rate ranks relatively low.
Similarly, public transportation is easily accessible and walking on the main streets of Denver, even downtown poses little to no threat. Overall, visitors and people that live in Denver feel comfortable in most neighborhoods and neighboring cities or towns.